We all need help mustering up the energy to get through our workouts from time to time. This is especially true when you’re deep in the throes of contest prep and you’re working hard to shed that last bit of extra fat before you step on stage.
During these times, it helps to have a pre–workout supplement on hand that can also tackle fat–burning. If you’re in the market for a pre–workout women and men can both use that checks these boxes, you ought to look for one with Yohimbe.
Never heard of Yohimbe before? It may not be as common as some other compounds found in pre–workout supplements, but that doesn’t mean it’s without merit.
There are a lot of ingredients found in pre–workout supplements that are of, shall we say, dubious provenance. Yohimbe is definitely not one of them. Everything you need to know about Yohimbe — from how it works to the science backing up its usage — is explained below.
What is Yohimbe?
Yohimbe comes from the Yohimbe tree, which is an evergreen tree found in central and western Africa. Yohimbe contains a substance known as yohimbine. Yohimbine is an alkaloid that has a bitter taste and can contribute to a wide range of chemical reactions in the body.
Many bodybuilding and weight loss supplements contain yohimbine in one of two forms: Yohimbe bark extract or yohimbine HCl.
Yohimbe bark extract is a concentrated, powdered form of the Yohimbe tree’s bark. Yohimbine HCL, on the other hand, is an isolated version of the yohimbine molecule, which is extracted from Yohimbe bark and paired with hydrochloric acid. Both sources of yohimbine can have a powerful impact on the body.
How Does it Work?
Yohimbe works by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is part of your body’s autonomic nervous system (the system responsible for controlling unconscious processes like heart rate, respiratory rate, pupillary response, and digestion).
When the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated, the body’s “fight or flight” response is activated. This, in turn, triggers the release of neurotransmitters known as catecholamines. The two catecholamines that play a significant role in the fight or flight response are adrenaline (or epinephrine) and noradrenaline (or norepinephrine).
When these catecholamines are released into the bloodstream, you become more alert and your body temperature and blood pressure increase. Essentially, your body springs into action and becomes prepared to take on whatever obstacles may be in your way.
Triggering the fight or flight response and the release of catecholamines isn’t just about fending off potential threats, though. The catecholamines your body releases in response to sympathetic nervous system stimulation also bind with special receptors in your fat cells (these are known as alpha–2 adrenergic receptors). When this happens, fat burning effects can occur.
Benefits of Yohimbe
There are lots of benefits that come with consuming supplements that contain Yohimbe. The following are some of the primary reasons this is the pre–workout ingredient bodybuilders and athletes swear by:
Because of the effect it has on the sympathetic nervous system, Yohimbe helps to improve blood flow and circulation throughout the body (this is why some people also use it to help treat erectile dysfunction).
Yohimbine can act as a vasodilator (meaning it causes the blood cells to expand). This allows blood to flow more freely through the body, providing the cells and organs with oxygen– and nutrient–rich blood.
Faster Weight Loss
Expedited weight loss is another bonus, especially for women who are struggling with stubborn body fat. A pre–workout for women with yohimbine in it may be very beneficial when it comes to shedding weight and leaning out for an upcoming show.
When it comes down to those last few weeks before stepping on stage, when everything else about your diet and training regimen is dialed in, the addition of a supplement made with yohimbine can make all the difference.
Yohimbe is especially helpful because it has the ability to promote more targeted fat loss. This is because areas that contain higher amounts of stubborn body fat tend to also have higher levels of alpha–2 adrenergic receptors.
This high concentration of alpha–2 receptors makes that fat more resistant to mobilization. Yohimbine, though, has a high affinity for these receptors. It binds to them more easily and blocks the receptors from catecholamines. When catecholamines can’t bind to these receptors, it becomes easier to lose that last bit of stubborn fat.
Many people notice an improvement in their training performance when they consume products that contain yohimbine. This is not surprising considering its energy–boosting effects and effects on the circulatory system.
Increased energy levels can help you push yourself farther during workouts (especially when Yohimbe is combined with other stimulants like caffeine). This, in turn, will allow you to see better results and a more stage–ready physique.
What the Research Says
On an anecdotal basis, lots of athletes and bodybuilders say they’ve seen great results when they use supplements made with yohimbine. Is there any scientific evidence backing it, though?
The following are summaries of some studies on Yohimbe for men and women that have shown promising results:
Yohimbe and Weight Loss in Women
Research on women shows that yohimbine can be a very beneficial tool when it comes to shedding stubborn fat.
One study on 20 obese women, which was published in the Israel Journal of Medical Science, for example, showed that yohimbine consumption — when paired with a calorie–restricted diet — had the ability to increase weight loss. In the same time frame (three weeks) the women who consumed yohimbine lost nearly three pounds more than the women who consumed a placebo.
The women who consumed yohimbine lost an average of 7.8 pounds, while those in the placebo group lost an average of just 4.9 pounds.
Yohimbe and Body Composition
Yohimbine doesn’t just help with weight loss. Research shows it’s also effective when it comes to helping individuals retain their muscle while shedding body fat.
If you’re getting ready to compete, you definitely don’t want to sacrifice any of your muscle mass before stepping on stage. But you still need to look as lean and defined as possible.
A study on 20 male soccer players published in Research in Sports Medicine showed that those who consumed yohimbine were able to shed body fat (by an average of 1.8 percentage points) without losing muscle. By comparison, the placebo group did not see any kind of significant results.
Neither of the groups experienced any negative side effects when consuming yohimbine either.
Yohimbe and Improved Performance
Consuming supplements that contain yohimbine can also help to improve your training performance.
A study published in the American Journal of Physiology on 20 healthy male cyclists showed that yohimbine led to improvements in all aspects of their performance.
These parameters included effort, calories burned, distance covered, speed, and exercise time. The improvements in performance occurred after just one oral dose of 5 milligrams.
If you need help pushing through your daily cardio, a pre–workout supplement with yohimbine might be just what you need.
How to Use Yohimbe
If you’re interested in a pre–workout women and men can use that contains yohimbine, it’s important to make sure you’re first using a safe, high–quality product — one that’s been tested for safety and effectiveness.
HYDE is our only pre–workout supplement made with yohimbine — in the form of Yohimbe bark extract.
As it’s a pre–workout supplement, it’s best to consume Yohimbe between 15 and 30 minutes prior to exercising. Yohimbe also works best when consumed on an empty stomach, as food intake will trigger a spike in insulin. This, in turn, can blunt the effects of yohimbine.
Start with a small amount of pre–workout (about ½ a scoop to see how it affects you). You can always add more next time if you feel the dosage was insufficient. However, starting with a conservative dose will help you avoid feeling jittery or anxious (which can sometimes happen when you over–consume stimulants).
You can also take a standalone Yohimbe Extract supplement to get the full benefit of this great ingredient.
See How Yohimbe Works Today
When you first learned about Yohimbe, you may have found yourself wondering what a compound from the bark of a tree could possibly have to offer you in terms of energy and fat loss. There’s definitely a lot of power in plant compounds, though.
As you now know, Yohimbe is an effective pre–workout women and men can use to help them in their bodybuilding and athletic endeavors. Are you interested in giving it a try?
If you have stubborn body fat that you’re struggling to lose, or if you just want to experience more energy during your workouts, consuming a product with yohimbine — such as Yohimbe Extract — might be an effective option for you.
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